Readers of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah, are certainly seeing less of Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy. A lot less, I’m happy to report. After hitting the scales at nearly 374 pounds in March, Genessy has hit back. He told me Thursday that he weighed 280, having lost 94 pounds – or one Muggsy Bogues.
The latest turning point for Jody occurred during a road trip covering the Jazz last season. “I had the experience of what it’s like being the fat guy on an airplane,” he said. “I could tell the guy sitting next to me wasn’t thrilled, my gut spilling over onto him. I was miserable and it turned out it was a parallel to my life. “I was looking at 374 pounds at 45 years old. I was playing Russian roulette with my health. I got four kids, a wife… something had to change.”
He remembers how great of an interview Webber and Divac were and what jokesters Bibby and Mateen Cleaves could be. He also remembers how distant Jason Williams was. “He was always kind of icy and not the greatest interview, and didn’t like to do media,” said Cunningham, who admitted he only had a handful of interactions with him.
Cunningham got to know and grew to love Artest throughout that time. At that point, he began serving in an expanded role as a producer at KHTK 1140 for several of the station’s hosts, including Grant Napear, Jim Kozimor and Carmichael Dave, while working as the station’s locker room reporter, far from the days of being a call screener for a golf show. Artest would frequently come into the studio for Carmichael Dave’s evening sports talk show. “I don’t know if that was therapeutic for him or if he just really enjoyed it,” Cunningham said. “You kind of saw a different side of an athlete and he was definitely different … He’d be the everyday guy with his quirks and his whatever that he would bring to work with him, but he was so passionate, he was such a hard worker,” said Cunningham, who remembers Artest getting a tooth knocked out during practice and not leaving, simply playing with the tooth in his hand.
One time after a game, Cunningham asked Cousins how his ankle was feeling and the center responded by saying he was going to be sitting out the rest of the season and making a comeback commercial, which some took as an insult to Derrick Rose. The cameras were off at the time, but Cunningham tweeted it. He woke up to text messages from Cousins telling him he shouldn’t have done that. “I said, ‘no DeMarcus that’s media availability, I disagree with you there,'” recalled Cunningham, who did send a follow-up tweet that Cousins wasn’t taking a shot at Derrick Rose, it was just a moment of humor.
The NBA free agent class just became more intriguing with the addition of a new player: ESPN’s Chris Broussard. The NBA insider’s current contract with the network expires in mid-September, said sources with knowledge of his deal. That could make the experienced, versatile Broussard a valuable free agent at at time when the surging NBA has never drawn more media attention.